Lessons I’m Learning From Having A Voice But Not Being Able To Speak

A doctor-imposed silence for two weeks—never could I have imagined that this would happen to me.

Upon my return home, I had barely turned off the ignition before the sweet daughter I’m blessed with came up to the car. I was moved by her compassion as she opened the door for me. On her heels was the middle son God has entrusted to us. They both looked so concerned as they greeted me with tender hugs. Then came my husband. He hugged me tightly and kept saying, “You’re going to be okay, Honey.” I had been doing fine up until this point. But feeling the love of the children and now nestled in my husband’s warm embrace, the tears began to flow. I was crying not because I was feeling sorry for myself but because I was so overwhelmed by my family’s love and support.

As I walked into the house, a wave of emotions washed over me. I know and firmly embrace that God is in control of everything that He allows to touch my life. And I knew without a doubt that He would get me through this. But in the span of roughly an hour, my life as normal had suddenly changed. Now I practically was without a voice and would have to communicate my thoughts to my family using a small white board and marker. Being a contemplative by nature, everything in me wanted to just curl up in bed and process what was happening. I thought, Yes, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

But there was just one problem. I had a lunch date with my sister at a restaurant. The plan had been for me to return to the house after my ENT appointment. Then my husband and children would accompany me to lunch with my sister. But now that I wasn’t allowed to speak, what would be the point of going out to a restaurant? Why meet my sister for lunch (especially in a public setting) and not be able to chat with her? So I kindly asked my husband to inform my sister of my diagnosis and that I wouldn’t be able to make our date. Then I began to sob. I was crushed that I wouldn’t be able to see my sister—we were meeting to celebrate her birthday one day earlier as she was leaving for vacation the following morning.

The reality of my diagnosis and treatment was quickly sinking in. It suddenly occurred to me that this simple, yet special lunch date, had become a defining moment in my life. It would set the stage for how I walked through this ordeal—I needed to decide now, not later, how I would choose to respond to this two week period of silence? Will I not go out in public for the next two weeks? Will I choose to keep embracing life head on or will I stay at home, shutting myself off from the world? There were really only two options: cowardly give in to this challenge or work through it with all that is within me. After wavering back and forth as to whether I was as yet prepared to face the world like this, I decided to still meet my sister for lunch. With God’s help, I resolved to go out into public for the first time ever not being able to utter a single word. After all, even though I could not speak with my sister, I still could see her!

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